The Diet Fight: Atkins Vs. Ornish

May 01, 2003

By George Anderson

Dr. Robert Atkins may no longer be with us, but his low carb/high protein diet is and consumers are buying into it in a big way.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “An estimated 30 million to 50 million people have adjusted their diets on the theory that carbohydrates — not fat — causes weight gain. The low-carb diet, popularized by the late Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s, has enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years, and it’s a rare office or neighborhood that doesn’t have several people shunning bread and potatoes in favor of meat and eggs.”

Conversely, the popularity of the low-fat diet advocated by Dean Ornish, “Eat More, Weigh Less,” is waning. Dr. Ornish told Reuters, “There has been a bit of a backlash against not only just low-fat eating, but healthy living in general. You used to find a lot more people interested in jogging and exercise and lifting weights and going to the gym, and there is less of that now.”

Dr. Ornish added, “It doesn’t frustrate me that some people may choose to do a diet other than what I recommend. What frustrates me is when they do it based on misinformation. What also frustrates me is how uncritically the media have embraced the high-protein diets because it tells people what they want to hear.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will low-carb foods grow/maintain
their popularity with consumers or will they fade away as have other diet fads?

The downfall of low-carb may not be science but price.
The San Francisco Chronicle references a report in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
It found low-carb foods cost about 50 percent more than those with higher carbs.
Anderson – Moderator

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